Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pittsburgh 88 Stanford 67

So much for the test.  Stanford is a possible NCAA tournament team but Pitt clearly were not impressed.  Instead, they are looking more and more like a future top 20 team- at least.

1.  Lamar Patterson is playing with the aggressiveness that he's never shown before and had 24 points one night after having 23 points. Both were career highs at the time.  If that wasn't enough Patterson also led the Panthers with 6 assists.  He also had 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block. He made 3-6 threes and 9-11 from the FT line.

2.  Talib Zanna and Durand Johnson added 14 points each.  Zanna was 5-10 from the field and 4-4 from the FT line. He also had 4 rebounds.  Johnson was 2-5 from three and was also 4-4 from the FT line.

3.  Cameron Wright had another good all around game and it looks like it's not a fluke.  He ended up with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.

4.  James Robinson was only 1-6 and he even missed easy back to back runners, but he ended up making 7-8 FTs.  Other than the shooting form the field he had a nice game with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and just one turnover.

5.  Mike Young had a quiet 6 points and 4 rebounds, but his FT shooting continues to be excellent as he made 4-5.

6.  Jamel Artis had a quick 5 points and 3 rebounds, but played little after that.

7.  The Panthers continue to shoot great making 8-17 from three and 30-34 from the FT line.

8. The Panthers had 9 steals, just 5 turnovers, and out rebounded the Cardinal, a big and good rebounding team, 33-26.

9. Maybe the only downside of the win is that Stanford shot 52.2% from the field, but instead of ratcheting up the defense like in past years, this time the Panthers simply put their opponent to death with offense. And Stanford still only scored 67 points.

Next up is Duquense on Saturday.  No reason to think this team won't keep winning this season. They are deep and good.


  1. Another impressive win. With a good showing against the Dukes on Saturday they should start knocking on the door to get ranked within the next week or so. Cincinnati will be the next test. If I were an ACC team, I would definitely be concerned about our Panthers!

  2. Yes, this appears to be a different Pitt team. A few times when Stanford were threatening to make a run, they didn't take the air out of the ball, but instead ratcheted up the offense. You cannot underestimate the value of the leadership that Patterson, Wright and Robinson provides.

    If I noticed one flaw, it may be defending a big, talented center. Zanna looked to be overmatched at times, and Randall is a foul magnet. But, we can always outscore the I guess

  3. What a total domination of a pretty good Stanford team. If Patterson/Wright/Zanna provide some consistency this year… look out!

  4. It's hard to recognize this team with the great (FG and FT!) shooting. Question: Is Pitt running more because they have the personnel to do so, or because they are adjusting to the ACC style of play?

  5. Where is the great free throw shooting coming from? It's like I am not watching Pitt.

    1. I was thinking the same thing.
      I think they are over 80% as a team for the year so far.
      Lets hope they keep it up. With the new rules, the team with the better foul shooting is going to win close games.

  6. Chris, this has to be the best team that Dixon has had in a long time. I know he coached panther teams with stars like Blair. However, in the time that he had since his loss in the NCAA tournament the moves he has made just speaks volumes about how good of a coach he really is. this team has depth and the upperclassmen are improving. I've complained a lot the last several years about him but I never wanted to see him go so I'm glad he is staying. I can't wait to see this team in conference play.

  7. Like what I see heading into their 1st ACC Season!

    Overall, great at moving the ball, good shooting, best FT shooting team I can remember, great in transition, can still rebound and defend, and NO EGOS! Limited inside, but not a big deal in ACC. Only team with strong inside game is SU.

    The were picked Pre-season 6th in ACC. I see them 4th or 5th behind:

    1. SU
    2. Duke
    3. UNC
    4. Pitt or VA

    In the end, probably another Sweet 16 Team. Be surprised if they go deeper, although they are much better than I was expecting considering the changes in personnel over the past two seasons.

  8. Very impressed so far, most of all by coach Dixon's willingness to change. I'm seeing things I've never seen from a Pitt team. An actual fast break? A team looking for easy baskets quickly? An active half court zone defense? Trapping in the half court? All great things. I don't know if it's the switch to the ACC or the new emphasis on fouls or what, but kudos to coach for changing things up and adapting.

    I hate to say this because it's sad to think about but how good would this team be if Adams stayed like most expected? Top five? With him protecting the rim and allowing Wright, Patterson, and JRob to be even more aggressive playing passing lanes, it would be scary.

    1. They wouldn't necessarily be better. It would slow the pace considerably and they would probably try to run the offense through him instead what they're doing now.

    2. That's a great point Chris - Zanna and Randall give us a more athletic and speedier 5 spot.

      Plus, they can both hit the FT's which is so valuable at the center position.

      The 4 is where I'm the most surprised and impressed.

      For two true freshmen, Young and Artis can do things way beyond their years.

      Not as athletic as Sam Young but, these two can stretch the floor like he did and drain the FT's as well.

      Shocked at how good they are at this point - obviously very underrated coming out of H/S to be this good this early.

      I know it's early but, I love this depth too - we can go 2 deep at just about every position without much drop off.

      And, DJ brings that killer shot off of the bench. They're good now - by the time March rolls around...Look Out!!!

    3. Yeah, Artis is the one that has really surprised me with his skill. I thought he would be a typical Dixon banger, but he's much more than that and could be really good moving forward.
      I kinda knew that Young would be good, having watched a couple of his high school games, but I had just read some on Artis and his bio doesn't seem to do him justice.

  9. Artis really developed his game over the last 6 months. He's improved dramatically from when he committed.

    1. I agree. He has surprised me.

  10. @Steve Davis--Per the Pomeroy and Sagarin computers Pitt (at the moment at least) is better than anyone else in the ACC by a significant margin (#2 Pomeroy, #5 Sagarin Nationally). That may be too good to be true over the course of the entire season. However, there is little doubt in my mind that we are significantly better than Virginia. Virginia is ranked about even with Stanford by Sagarin's computer. And having seen them play a little I think that is about right.

    1. time will tell how good this team is and will be. they have a ton of room to improve, and that should scare a lot of teams!

  11. Great win and looks like we're in for an exciting season of Pitt BB again.

    Just image how good they'd be if those kids didn't transfer??? You know, the ones that were evidence JD had lost the team and was further proof he's a failure of a coach. Oh well, guess we'll just have to settle for with watching these kids....

    Go Pitt!!

  12. Chris hit the nail on the head about Adams. They are a better team without him because they are not dedicated/obligated to let him touch the ball. They simply move the ball to the person with the best shot, and it is working so far. It also is a plus that they no longer have Travon Woodall over-possessing the ball or the cancer that was Ashton Gibbs forcing shots or whining when he didn't get his points. This is the type of team that Dixon can win with.

  13. @anonymous--I think you are way off base as to why we had those problems. The Ashton year it was mainly injury problem others and his--not his attitude--although it may have soured out of frustration. I also don't think not having Adams has much or even anything to do with this team's improvement. Rather it is having frosh some bigs (Artis, Young) who can shoot free throws and jumpers and the maturation of Robinson and Johnson.

  14. I stopped cooing over non-conference wins the second time Pitt was a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and got dumped out early.

    So tell me, please, all you Dixon groupies: Is the coach who never beat a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament building a team to go deep in the tournament?
    I'm reading some very high praise for this group which hasn't faced any top 30 competition yet, even demands they be ranked. Seriously? Ranked for beating which team, please?

    So far does this team resemble his first squad with 30+ wins or my favorite of the Dixon era, 2008-09??

  15. @Tony Way too early to be certain about this Pitt hoops team. But, they are shooting the ball (jumpers and FTs) far better than any previous Dixon teams. A lot of that has to do with front court shooters,(an improved Durand Johnson plus Young and Artis). As far as not having played top 30 teams yet that is true. On the other hand, they are easily blowing out teams ranked in the 45-55 range by Sagarin's computer, Those are the kind of teams that Pitt teams of the past couple of seasons would have been struggling against for 20-30 minutes before pulling away to win by 10-15. This is good enough that Sagarin's and Pomeroy's computers both had Pitt ranked in the top 5 following the Stanford win.

    Bottom line--no guarantees but things could not look any better at this point in time.

  16. Been to all home games and many road games the past ten years. Just got back NYC where I watched then manhandle Texas tech and Stanford. Maybe those teams are not great but they are BCS teams with one coaches by a national championship winning coach. I am not sure exactly what's different with this team than in previous years but there is definitely something.maybe it's having a point guard who plays le a point guard and doesn't care how many points he scores as long as he doesn't turn over the ball. Maybe it's the great free throw shooting these guys can do and maybe it's the development of older players who red shirted a year. Two Stanford guys behind me could not stop raving about #3. I told them in prior years wright could not so much and his production is a testament to hard work and good coaching. I think this could b the year that we finally kick that door into the final four